Last sleep till Den Helder

by Lucy Gilliam

Last sleep until departure!!!! Tomorrow I leave for Holland to join Alex aboard the Tres Hombres Sail Cargo Ship. I’m so nervous / excited / anxious / excited. I can’t sleep. This time round I have a pretty good idea what we / I / us are in for. Freezing cold sailing conditions. Long hours on the helm. Terrifying heights to set the sails and a hefty dose of the galley.

Tres hombres is admirably simple and resource efficient. She has no engine and the operations aboard are all renewable powered. What this means practically is no fridge or freezer. Manual hand pumps for water. With no fancy electrics and generator guzzling appliances aboard there is a lot less to go wrong. And there is a great deal more creativity and daily brawn required.

I wonder how many of my friends and family live without a fridge or freezer? How many can plan meal plans 3 weeks in advance? How many have ideas around keeping food fresh for longer?

Often the excuse is we don’t have time… I think the aspect of the voyage I’m looking forward to most is this stretching of time which occurs when you are at sea. The fresh perspective. The ‘does it really matter’ cull. The ‘I’m so utterly blown away moments’ that time can sometimes stand still.

I haven’t experienced anything quite like being out at sea in the open ocean. The stars, the phosphorescence, the sealife… The vulnerability of bobbing through the mid Atlantic with the calm assurance of the stars and the knowledge that we are stardust.

There will be 15 of us on the ship which is a sizeable community to navigate in the confines of a 32m by 8m space. The bunks are tight and space is limited.

But, I think, we are all united in the vision of good clean fair trading. Ha not long till I find out for sure. I’m looking forward to the conversations especially at 5am on the helm watching the sun rise.

Anyway. Time for sleeps. Regular updates to follow.

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